06 Jul 2022

Get up, Get dressed, Get moving challenge in Portlaoise hospital

New 60 day programme launched at Laois hospital

Staff at Portlaoise hospital are driving a new project to encourage older patients to be more active while be treated at the Laois facility.

The Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise has just launch the 'Get up, Get dressed, Get moving challenge'. The initiative is taking place across hospitals throughout Ireland from October 4 to December 3 2021.  

The Slieve Bloom medical ward at the Laois hospital is the nominated section where older people will be encouraged to get up, dressed and to get moving during their hospital stay.

Welcoming the initiative, Dr. John Connaughton, Clinical Director, Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise said, “I warmly welcome this initiative both in its content and its timing and would encourage you to participate in this 60 day challenge, as we collectively lead change, add value and make it better for patients and their carers.”

Sandra McCarthy, Director of Nursing said that during the 60 day challenge all members of the multi-disciplinary team will be supporting the older person to increase their levels of functional activity.

"One of the significant risk factors for falls is inappropriate footwear, which can include slippers. Therefore if the older person is encouraged to bring in appropriate clothing and footwear they will be at less risk of falls while mobilising. Also we know when people are dressed, healthcare professionals are more likely to notice their ability, rather than see them in the “sick role” and so plan for their discharge,” she said.

Ms McCarthy said becoming more active include less risk of:

·       Getting an infection

·       Losing mobility and agility

·       Losing fitness and strength

·       Developing pressure sores

·       Having a fall. 

A statement said it is estimated that during a hospital stay older adults can spend 97% of their day lying or sitting down. The hospital says these reduced activity levels can have a serious impact on the quality of life of the older person. Each day spent immobile is associated with loss of muscle strength, which in a vulnerable person can be the difference between being able to climb the stairs or being able use the bathroom independently.

The hospital says it can actually make the difference in their ability to be discharged back home or in having to go to long term care facilities.  The National Ambulance Service is supporting the challenge by encouraging older adults, where appropriate, to pack their day clothing and sensible footwear, rather than pyjamas and slippers for their hospital stay.

For more information on Get up, Get dressed, Get moving see services/list/4/olderpeople/ get-up-get-dressed-get-moving/ get-up-get-dressed-get-moving. html

and follow #GUGDGM2021 on Twitter.

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